Why Aren’t All Of Them Disney Princesses?

Disney Princesses is a Walt Disney Company franchise, based on fictional characters that have been featured as part of the Disney character line-up. When Disney started the Princess Collection in 2001, these were the already-existing eight princesses that are still in the collection today:

Snow WhiteCinderellaAuroraArielBelleJasminePocahontas, and Mulan. They weren’t the only ones in the original collection though. In the beginning, Tinker Bell, Esmeralda, Megara, Alice, and Jane Porter were all in the collection but were later removed as the guidelines for the princess requirements were refined. Tinker Bell left to start the Disney Fairies franchise.

So, who is considered a Disney Princess in the eyes of Disney? This list is taken straight from Disney’s website www.Princess.Disney.com

The official list consists only of these 12 princesses;

  1. Snow White        2.Cinderella       3.Aurora
  2. Ariel                   5.Belle              6. Jasmine
  3. Pocahontas         8. Mulan            9. Tiana
  4. Rapunzel            11.Merida         12.  Moana

To add in new princesses since the inception of the Princess Collection in 2000 Disney has had a coronation ceremony for each them welcoming them into the Princess family.

To coincide with the release of The Princess and the Frog (2009) DVD and Blu-Ray release, Disney held a special coronation ceremony for Tiana in the historic New York Palace in Manhattan on March 14, 2010. Tina then became the 9th princess in the collection.

On October 3, 2011, Disney held a special coronation at Kensington Palace in London, England, to add Rapunzel from the computer-animated film Tangled (2010) as the 10th princess in the collection. There wasn’t a very big turnout for the event. There were a horse and carriage procession preceding the ceremony. Each princess had their own carriage as they traveled to the palace. Mulan and Pocahontas had to share a carriage because one of the carriages broke down right before it all started and since they had the smallest dresses they were made to share.

In the Magic Kingdom in Florida on May 11, 2013, Merida from Brave (2012) was added to the collection with her own special coronation ceremony making her the 11th princess in the collection. Merida is the first Pixar princess added to the Collection, and the first princess that came from an original story and not a film adaptation of a previously-designed character or based on real life.

From 2016 until March 21, 2019, Moana wasn’t in the princess collection. She was a part of the Moana merchandise. I am guessing that merchandise sales dropped so she was included in the Princess Collection merch. She didn’t receive a special ceremony, she just started appearing with the others and became the 12th princess.

There are guidelines that the characters must follow to be considered for the Disney Princess Collection.

  1. She must be a primary character in the movie.
  2. She must be born a princess, marry a prince, or perform an act of great heroism. This last requirement was added in so Mulan could be included.
  3. Queens and Spirits don’t count.
  4. She must be a human or turn human. This was specified for Ariel.
  5. She must be an original Disney property. Disney can’t have bought a company and turned their character into a princess, like Anastasia when Disney bought Fox or Jessie after Disney bought Pixar. Merida counts because she was created after Disney owned Pixar.
  6. She must star in a movie that made lots of money in the Box Office. This rules out Princess Eilonwy from The Black Cauldron (1985) and Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) for example.
  7. She must make an appearance in the first movie, sequels don’t count. This excludes Melody from The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea (2000).
  8. She must be an animated character, no real-life actresses. Like Amy Adams as Giselle from Enchanted (2007).
  9. Their movie can’t do too well at the box office, otherwise, they will become a franchise of their own, like Anna and Elsa from Frozen (2013).

People like to argue about who and why other princesses or characters weren’t included in the official line-up. There is a reason why none of the 42 females on the following list weren’t added and I list the reasons. I got all these characters from reading “who is a princess” debates online. Ahead of time, I am going to apologize that you might see your favorite character and learn the reasons why she isn’t a Disney Princess.

  • Elsa and Anna from Frozen (2013) and Frozen 2 (2019) – The movie Frozen is the top-grossing animated film of all time, and the fifteenth top-grossing film of all time with an intake of almost $1.3 billion. Frozen 2 (2019) made $1.2 billion (so far). Disney is making way too much money on the Frozen franchise to add them into the Princess Collection. Besides, Anna is a queen and Elsa is a spirit.
  • Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph (2012) and Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) – she stepped down from being a princess when she became the president of her candy-covered video game world of Sugar Rush. In the sequel, she says that she is a princess to fit in with the other princesses, but her qualifications aren’t fulfilled to be considered one anymore. She was a princess only in title because of her character’s backstory in her game, Sugar Rush. Since Sugar Rush is no more and she stays in Slaughter Race, she foregoes her title.
  • Sofia from Sofia the First (2012) – she is considered too young to be in the collection and she is from a television series and not from a movie.
  • Elena from Elena of Avalor (2016-present) – she is from a television series and not from a theatrically released movie. She was in the made-for-television movie Elena and the Secret of Avalor (2016), which was a crossover film with Sofia the First and served as the pilot episode for Elena’s show.
  • Princess Isabel from Elena of Avalor (2016-present) – she is from a television series and is the younger sister to Elena and is a supporting character.
  • Princess Rebecca, Princess Amber, Princess Valentina, and Princess Marisa from Elena of Avalor (2016-present) – they are all supporting characters in a television series and aren’t main characters from a movie.
  • Tinker Bell from Peter Pan (1953) – Tink was originally in the Collection for a few years until she got her own spin-off collection, Disney Fairies, for which she is the main character. She also didn’t marry a prince or perform an act of heroism.
  • Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) – she becomes the queen in the sequel Atlantis: Milo’s Return (2003). Although technically, the 2nd movie was a collection of episodes from the ill-fated television series. She isn’t included because Atlantis was considered a flop in theaters even though it made almost $70 million over the budget.
  • Megara from Hercules (1997) – she was in a few items when the Princess Collection started out but was removed due to lack of popularity, per Disney. The same goes for Alice from Alice in Wonderland (1950), Esmeralda from Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), and Jane Porter from Tarzan (1999), although technically Jane did end up with the “King of the Jungle,” which would make her a queen if anything. Alice did appear as one of “The Princesses of Heart” in the video game Kingdom Hearts.
  • Princess Eilonwy from The Black Cauldron (1985) is not included in the official line-up because of the poor reception of the film. She is sometimes referred to as the “Forgotten Disney Princess.” If she was to be added to the line-up, she would be the youngest one at the age of 12 years, closely followed by Snow White who is 14 years old.
  • Minnie MouseDaisy DuckFaline (Bambi), Nala (The Lion King), Kiara (The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride), Princess Atta & Princess Dot (A Bug’s Life), Jessie (Toy Story 2), Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas), and Maid Marian (Robin Hood) – are all anthropomorphic. That means they are animals or something non-human that were given human characteristics, like walking, talking or human emotions. Because of this, none of them are considered. However, Nala was on a few princess items in the beginning. Daisy and Minnie are both queens in the Kingdom Hearts video games. Minnie is also a princess in Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004). Technically, if Sally married “The Pumpkin King” (Jack Skellington), then she would be a queen. Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) was also a movie released by Touchstone Pictures, a subsidiary of Disney and not created by it.
  • Melody from Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea (2000) – one of the few princesses who was actually born to a queen and king, both by blood, to not be included. At the age of 12, she is said to be too young for the line-up, this only putting her two years behind Snow White.  And, she was in a sequel that was straight-to-DVD and not a theatrically released one. Her popularity is also very low.
  • Wendy Darling from Peter Pan (1953) is in no way royalty or with someone of royalty. In the sequel, Return to Neverland (2002), Wendy is married to a regular man.
  • Giselle from Enchanted (2007) – due to Giselle being in human form for most of the movie, she isn’t considered for the line-up. Rumor has it that Disney would have to pay Amy Adams royalties because of her likeness with the animated Giselle. Plus, in her human form kids know what she looks like, so there can be no meet-and-greets in the parks. Unlike the animated princesses who can be open to live actress interpretation. Giselle also ended up with Robert at the end of the film and not Prince Edward.
  • Nancy Tremaine from Enchanted (2007) – her character started out as a live-action and was later an animated character who married Prince Edward, which makes her a princess. She was played by Idina Menzel in the real world and was then voiced by her when she was animated. For one, she was also a live person, and second, the movie wasn’t about her.
  • Ting-TingSu, and Mei from Mulan 2 (2004) – they had too small of a part in a straight-to-DVD movie to be considered, and it was a sequel.
  • Princess Calla from Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985–1991) isn’t considered because she was a supporting character in a television series, and not in a movie.
  • Princess Tiger Lily from Peter Pan (1953) had too small of a part as a supporting character to be considered.
  • Kilala Reno is from the manga book series Kilala Princess. This book series isn’t made by Disney, but the producers had permission to use the characters of Snow White, Jasmine, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, and Aurora in the animations.
  • Kairi from the Kingdom Hearts (2002) video game is a “Princess of Heart,” but because she is only in a video game, she isn’t considered.
  • Princess Leia from the Star Wars Franchise (1977-2019) – although people petitioned to have Disney add Leia to the Collection after Carrie Fisher’s death, they won’t because Leia is from live-action and not animation. She isn’t from an original Disney property and they would also have to pay out royalties for using Carrie Fisher’s likeness. She also ended the movie franchise with her character as General Leia Organa.
  • Gwyn from Princess of Thieves (2001) – in this movie, Kiera Knightly plays the daughter of Robin Hood, the King of Thieves, and Maid Marian, not to be confused with her role of Guinevere in Disney’s King Arthur (2004) which was released under their Touchstone Pictures Banner. In this film, she is a live person, much like Princess Leia and Giselle, and for the same reasons, isn’t in the collection.
  • Princess Mia from Princess Diaries (2001) and Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) – she is better known as Mia Thermopolis the Princess of Genovia. Because Anne Hathaway is a live actress her character isn’t in the collection, just like Princess Leia and Giselle.
  • Anastasia from Anastasia (1997) – with the buyout of Twentieth Century Fox, people want Anastasia added to the collection. For years people have mistaken this film for a Disney film anyway. It is a Don Bluth film. Although Don once worked for Disney, this film doesn’t count.
  • Kuzco from The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) – this one is easy, he’s a boy. People have jokingly said he is a princess because of his entitlement and fabulousness.

There you have it. An explanation as to who is and isn’t in the Disney Princess Collection and why. Even if they aren’t in the collection and you still want to call them a Disney Princess, you can. I hope you enjoyed this article as most of it was taken from my upcoming book’s Disney Princess section.

If you know of any that were missed, contact me so I can add them to the list.

If you enjoyed reading this, you should check out my book that has over 3,700 fun facts in it about Disneyland, California Adventure, and Disney Movies.


About the Author

Joshua Shaffer
I am a two time published author of Disneyland history and fun fact books. My second edition has over 3,700 fun facts in it about Disneyland and Disney movies. In my spare time, I work on my next book. I also design Disney Fantasy Pins. For a brief time, I was a co-host on the Magic Behind The Ears podcast. I am also the Public Relations Manager for Gina Rock, the longest flying Tinker Bell in Disneyland history. She flew across the skies for the nightly fireworks from 1983-2005. I had a booth at D23 in 2017 where I premiered my books 2nd edition. It was nicknamed "The Disney Bible" because it is 700 pages long. I basically stood from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm every day for 3 days straight just talking about Disney stuff. I love all things Disney. If you have any questions about Disneyland or Disney Movies feel free to contact me and I will try to answer all your questions. If you haven’t already picked up a copy of my book, you need to do so. www.DisneyGuy.org [email protected]

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